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tv   Hearing Focuses on Hate Crimes Targeting Religious Groups  CSPAN  May 3, 2017 7:25am-10:01am EDT

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here ainley have berthing support the patient to have been opening statement and then to introduce the first panel with vr done the senate judiciary committee is holding a hearing will entitle their responses to the increase of religious hate crimes it is from great bipartisan interest with religious hate crimes to
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have a great impact on the community. many of these crimes never would have been committed but for hatred. run counter to america's values such as religious freedom and americans have the right for those that would treat them as members of religious groups the religious hate crimes on the riots bottles common religious hate crimes against muslims to the fastest-growing category by have been contacted fear of practicing once religion
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should never happen in this country. this has been growing for some time and it is not new. we will confront antisemitism and condemns hatred to bear witness an act. with these statements with government action dating back to george washington wrote to a synagogue in rhode island that the government does the united states with persecution and it is necessary to be
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protected against those who commit the awful hate crimes in a need to be deployed to houses of worship of necessary. such did have the first amendment establishment clause to prevent any government assistance that has a religious entity to reconsider those views. for instance the supreme court and whether the state could prohibit a religious institution from receiving government grants that is
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available to secular entities. justice and legal asked about a grant program such an existing federal program to have hardened nonprofit organization facilities to be at a high risk for terrorist attacks. so with the entire muslim group and the missouri those that have from the court from justice toledo's so it is astonishing to me they responded know the missouri constitution would not not
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even on a neutral basis so the safety of buildings but we cannot lose sight that they are with the establishment clause should not be forbidden for those practicing their religion i believe religious hate crimes require a government of nova response of financial assistance to the facilities that are targets and hope the supreme court decided to a ruling against those attacks that our due to other organizations we will hear from the justice department on the efforts
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under way for religious hate crimes to hear about civil-rights and how to address that and also from a brave and victim of religious hate crime and violence for to the testimony. >> thank you for calling the hearing it is an important topic and it goes to one of the core values we pride ourselves with a unique and diverse society. with different creeds or collars or ethnicities to be a united country and into this creeps a suspicion so
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the topic today is religious hate crimes and i think it does not matter if it is a hate crime based on one religion or race or any other element even of a focus of one part of this witches' religious hate. into help state and local government address hate crimes i want to make clear bond local level each
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community faces their own unique challenge when it comes to racial and religious bias. i look back at my time over 80 years antoninus a county supervisor and as the mayor. i remember when the swastika was painted on the synagogue i got on the phone call the chief of police and say you looked at it you have people do something about it, and i made a strong public statement that this would not be tolerated in my city purpose same thing happened with other kinds of crimes because of who they are their religion or race whether straight or gay. it is important to address
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it to say me will not allow it for the leaders not to shrink. so this is a start so everybody here understands and wants to create a different society. according to the anti-defamation league there are reports of 541 incidents in the first four months of this year. that is an increase of 86% compared to those recorded over the same period the year before. 380 harassment incidents with 161 bomb threats within increase of 127%.
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the bomb threats were called into more than 80 jewish community centers and those located in 33 states with two canadian provinces. one day, february 27, there were 31 threats call then to 23 jewish community centers or state schools 31 bomb threats in a single day. a spark a tremendous fear thankfully they have arrested the men responsible and nobody was injured or killed. hate crimes have also increased at the alarming rate that includes horrific murders of a leg to draw your attention to a map that
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shows a recent incident tracked by the advocates from a leader on the topic and you can see where they are concentrated. i found that very interesting as well 254 separate incidents since of lumber 14 through that president -- november 14th through the present. they hate groups tripled in 201634 up at 101 muslim hate groups / year. simile the fbi hate crime data also captured a sharp increase during the same
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period according to research a crimes increased 70% attacks on perceived muslims rose sharply. it is incumbent to condemn the crimes with race or religion and in my view to do in part to the perception that people in positions of power are in different to what is happening with the protection of the rights of all americans and those be cow. and we have to make clear pate has no place in these
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crimes will be investigated the seriousness will be taken into consideration. to ensure they have the support and resources that they need with the victims that the federal support that the justice department needs to provide. the federal government must improve the reporting of hate crimes because it increases awareness but it is inadequate today. if we do have an accurate picture is much harder for justice and fbi to address the problem. requiring the fbi to collect eight crime data with those deadlines for state and
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local law-enforcement. the quality of the data has improved the justice department revised the report to collect data against arab or mome mormon or jehovah's witness or orthodox christian individuals. twenty-six requested the change but we can and must do better many still don't report hate crimes to the fbi wide atypically before between five and 10,000 he crimes, the true number may approach 300,000 which is 30 times the estimation. i just introduced of bill to
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update the arson bill with the intention of making a religious property. if somebody goes to another church to right threatening graffiti it has an impact on a wide range of people in has to be taken very seriously. money'' holocaust survivor and nobel laureate. sometimes in human lives are in danger and dignity is in jeopardy the become irrelevant. whenever they are persecuted because of race or religion or political view that must
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become the center of the universe. seventy-four working with us. >> i will not introduce our first witness, a special counsel for religious discrimination in the civil rights division of the department of justice i recognize you for five minutes if you have a longer statement for the record five don't cut anybody up but when that happens please summarize. >> good morning. thanks for holding this hearing to discuss the important topic to focus on religion and hate crime.
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tom wheeler cannot be here due to a family emergency the attorney-general making one of his top priorities hate crimes are serious problem that messy part of the national effort to reduce violent crime this is the case because first it makes of 4 percent of violent crime in america these are crimes meant to intimidate and terrorize communities we're concerned about ourselves of families but when they are targeted they experience something on top of this the concern that they will stand out in some way president trump in the first address to congress
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spoke of the threats of the jewish community centers as well as the two indian men in kansas city to say we are a country that stands united to condemn hate and people in all forms. so with the largest category religious based is the second as a concerning trend unifying -- unified crime report included a 67% rise in hate crimes or jewish eight crimes the department of justice bin is committed to prosecuting these cases we charged a man in israel is making threats to jewish community centers in the united states.
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also another was arrested and last to burn down a mosque. the department had the death penalty against dell in for the killing of beat the worshipers during a bible study in south carolina. these are powerful laws to bring the resources to bear in to provide resources with houses of worship the we can bring in the atf raid the fbi to find and pursue the perpetrators of those policies in place with the partners with the efficient
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and effective manner in rica always get better and we must do better. that is why the attorney general has made the hate crime subcommittee of the violent crime task force one of the pillars of the effort it will hold a summit on violent crime the following week the hate crime subcommittee will hold an additional one day summit focusing on identifying and preventing hate crime. and how to best produce a crime in america. the senate and the subcommittee are focused on the incomplete hate crime data. so this is part of a conversation going for word.
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politically deal with if we fully understand it also working on ways to improve training and outreach through the language or cultural barriers that is critical to the success of any program to combat hate crime. acting assistant attorney general and i can attest to the importance of communication for us says the government to hear what is going on in but we can do better to let the community know the area is getting help i think you for the dialogue you are facilitating an accord to half your question. >> if thank you covered my first question when the
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summit this so important to get some ask you to elaborate further. >> the idea not just to bring the expertise from the components of doj civil-rights division community relations but never saw kennedy's racial communities representing elegy bt and those of a year doing well or not doing well data collection and what we can do to make that better tractor komi talked about
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the long-term plan to migrate but also the several years before that is fully implemented. for anyone to say just a listening session but we want to hear from the experts and local law enforcement from the communities about what we should be doing. >> with second question is asking for examples of religious hate crime and administration that some are probably carried over i don't expect you to give us a long list now buchanan supplemented with the some written material. >> that is outlined in the written testimony i just highlighted a few tattoos' minnesota senators here on march 8 a judge sentenced of
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a case that we brought to 12 months in prison with a threat to blow up the mosque and bakersfield california april 10 there is a 15 year sentence for a man who fired a shot gun toward a latino family then fired at pay middle eastern million at a convenience store. and mention this because we found people that hate are not discriminating. they are angry at muslims or middle easterners or anybody who looks different. we think of that as a general problem that we need to address into have a case
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to receive a guilty plea from a man who threatened grotius store owners in orlando florida that they had 30 days to close the store or be attacked that is the kind of violence so when they are attacking them because of the race and to move into the neighborhood of their choice that protects the underlying civil rights of society. >> so is their religious freedom cases over many years those that our religious hate crimes is it
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your experience that is on the rise? nonsense of presidential election those that they witnessed in previous administrations hate crimes are a perpetual problem in society. so it is a problem we have been battling for many years. we have seen a trend in the data with a rise the year before we don't have the data but i can say we have many referrals that are coming in from your taking
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the problem very seriously tearing our resources added in the attorney general believes and will aggressively pursue new hate crime. >> what i am bothered by is the statistics don't really give the right situation. for example, the fbi typically reports between 7,000 and 10,008 crimes in with the estimation in to be nearly tripled between 2004 and 2012 how do you account for the discrepancies?
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>> senator it is on to different methodologies i do agree the fbi undercounts headed accounts actual instance where a police officer in the field received a reported case maybe prosecution or not but includes that as a hate crime minos some states are better than others. those expected 1400 more. . .
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>> yes senator. one thing we did last summer. and we expect to do it again is to reach out to over 94 us attorneys. and give them a list of what cities in their district are not reporting hate crimes and get them in their normal interactions with their mayors and say this is some you can help us with. so we have to read with those us attorneys. >> tells whose only hate crimes subcommittee of the task force on crime reeducation and public
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safety. who is on this and what is the committee supposed to accomplish? typically it is chaired by the acting attorney for civil rights. representatives from the fbi hate crimes unit, other components of fbi, city relations and service. a wide range. it is all doj. doj coming together and talk about what there is we have and then going out of the summit to hear from the community from experts. >> maybe that is a good place to start. to really try and see if this can't be infused nationally with local people who are there and know their populations who when they stand up, hopefully, they listen. as opposed to some remote source in the federal bureaucracy. cell i mean that is what i would hope this committee would take a look at doing. that is involving local leaders
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and encourage them to take a position. i have found that where local leaders step up, and we are not going to tolerate this it does make a difference. >> senator i think that is a very good idea and i'll take that back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for this important hearing today. it is right for people to believe what they want to and exercise some of the nation's foundational and fundamental principles. that said there is troubling hate crimes in the us and throughout the world. some of the recent examples include the more than 100 bomb threats made in jewish community centers throughout the country. as well as the vandalism of jewish cemeteries in st. louis,
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philadelphia and other cities. in response to all of these hate crimes the president addressed the issue during a joint session of congress when he said quote - we may be a nation divided on policies, but we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil and all of its very evil forms. the vice president also denounced these acts of religious intolerance when he said there is no place in america for hatred or acts of anti-semitism. for someone who's own finer ancestors were persecuted and driven from their homes, forced to settle down on the mountain was because of their beliefs. i agree that america must not tolerate religiously motivated hate crimes or any hate crimes for that matter. yesterday i was joined by my friend the ranking member and introducing the protecting religiously affiliated
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institutions act. i want to thank senator feinstein for joining me in offering this bill which would expand the church arson prevention act to criminalize the threats made to intentionally deface, damage or destroy any religious property or to threaten, obstruct, by force or threat the enjoyment of someone's enjoyment of free exercise of their religious beliefs. in the coming weeks the senate will consider and pass this as a demonstration of our commitment to the united against evil and hate. with that i just have a few questions. let me ask you this. can you please share what the department is doing to promote religious liberty of all people in this country? >> thank you senator. one of the things that we are focused's aggressive enforcement of the religious land use and institutionalized act. it is widely sponsored with
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senator kennedy in the senate and has done a great deal to expand religious liberty of all people. one of the things we have seen in recent years since 2010, is a rise in the number of anti-muslim cases. some cases where someone opposes a muslim school are embossed. does make up about 37 percent of our investigations.muslims make up 1 to 2 percent of the population. we have right now, one case that we resolved in march and three that are ongoing involving mosques. we have these involving many different communities of faith. and their ability to construct places of worship and we continue to aggressively pursue these cases. >> many are concerned that -- in the country are not accurate. many jurisdictions do not fully
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participate in reporting the activities. in those crimes. so i am very concerned about that too. is this an accurate assessment and what can be done to improve the accuracy of hate crime statistics in the united states. >> it is true. the hate crime reporting relies on voluntary compliance. we have 14,000 agencies participating in the program. there are some that do not as we discussed a moment ago, one goal is to get more involved and also those who are already involved, get better training for officers to spot hate crimes. to know what to look for. how to record it so it gets captured in the data. >> it seems to be targeting police officers by the virtue of the fact that they are police officers. what is the department doing about that as well?
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>> the attorney general has made fighting violent crime one of the very highest priorities. and certainly protecting our men and women who are out there in the field putting their lives on the line to protect us and face violence. it is an important part of that violent crime picture and on march 31 the attorney general issued a letter regarding public safety and law enforcement and talk about issues such as protecting police officer safety, boosting morale and also a number of other things including protecting civil rights of all americans. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i thank you for holiness and important hearing.
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senator collins and i actually spoke at the prayer breakfast this year. i did the closing prayer and i use it home from walt whitman and when he said i hear america singing very carol.in the poem he talks about shoemakers, masons and all of the various jobs americans hold. but i said that they were talking about the very religions. and we had a rabbi on the stage, we had christians there and we had an emomin the front row. and this is what america has been built on, the freedom of religion. and i want to ask you first of all from a state that has the largest somali population in the country as you have a knowledge we have had a recent attack on a mosque. we have had attacks on african-american homes. but many states we have threats
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on jewish community centers. i would like to know as we have seen the rash of threats and actual violent acts from your perspective, and the justice department what you see as the cause of this increase in threats? >> thank you senator. your mentioning the somali population in minnesota. we handled a couple of years ago, i was involved personally in a case involving a somali muslim community wanted to rent out a for purchase a building. >> i'm aware of the case and the us attorney and you worked on that. can you semi-quickly because i want to get two or three more questions. what you see is the cause? >> i just wanted to say the end of that case, there is a photo of the mayor embracing the
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somali -- anything that shows the breaking down of the barriers of misunderstanding. if you look at data. >> but what are you seeing as the increase? what is the cause? >> one of the leading causes of anti-muslim is not knowing a muslim. people are who likely to have a friend who is or know someone are less likely to have that. >> saw the increase in the last few years? we had muslims and minnesota for that now we are suddenly seeing this number of threats against them and in the jewish communities?>> i'm not a sociologist. i can say that we are concerned by trends. when we see something like a 67 percent rise in anti-muslim hate crimes. we take action and we are bringing cases to try to meet this problem.
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>> let me just tell you some of my views having been prosecutor after 9/11 and saying when president bush stood up and said this is not about one religion. going around with our republican appointed us attorney. we did not see a rash of hate crimes. we had wanted to my jurisdiction because of that. and so i think the language at the top matters. i recently heard that story of a muslim family that had been in 9/11 in minnesota and experienced no bad language or threats. now here they are with their kids 10 years or so or more later and at a restaurant a guy walks by and says go home to a came from. the little girl looks up at her mom says mom, i don't want to go home. he said we could eat out tonight. can you think of the words of the innocent child. she didn't even know what he was talking about.
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because minnesota is the only home that she knows. the united states is the home that she knows. my point is first of all, language matters. and i appreciate the work that the justice department is not a hope he passes on to the highest officials of our government. people in the last year and month say it was or should not be able to run for president. maybe that will happen in our lifetime but it is at least a dream every child in this country. that they should be able to run for president if they are a citizen of the country. i think those words matter.i also think we have some additional funding we are trying to get for homeland security for faith-based community centers and i know that is out of homeland security. but hope you look at that. and talk to the attorney general about that. and then the third thing is some of the work that we have been doing in minnesota and other places targeting extremism. so i will admit that with what you think we should be doing
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more? and what is the justice department's views of trying to do more to -- >> when you mention homeland security and helping with communities of faith, one of the things we do in the civil rights division in outreach is hold joint meetings, joint conference calls with community leaders and one of the things he had to offer communities is protective security advisors. they do walk-throughs into any critical infrastructure that includes places of worship, religious schools, other schools and point out vulnerabilities to our sin, to active shooter, other security issues and so that is something very positive going on that we are making a point of talking to the community about. method next week we are cosponsoring with fema church person awareness week focusing on house of worship arson. and to heighten awareness of
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these issues. and for communities to take advantage of those federal resources out there for them. >> thank you very much. >> senator, your next if you are not ready senator leahy -- senator lee is ready. >> i would like to before. >> thank you. i appreciate it. what can you tell us about what the department is doing to reach out to vulnerable communities? >> one of the things the civil rights division has traditionally done, and attorney general tom wheeler has made a special commitment to reach out to communities. we have a quarterly meeting with muslim arabs, south asian and hindu organizations probably bring in homeland security department
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transportation, civil rights division and talk about the range of issues. not just hate crimes although that is a major part of it. but all the different issues of discrimination facing a particular community based on the backlash started after 9/11 and has continued in the present. we also do outreach to many communities of faith as well as many different civil rights organizations. >> thank you. now, i know you cannot comment something about that but can you confirm that you do have an ongoing? >> ,yes we do. we have a number of investigations to plan tightly just hate crimes of various sorts and reels of an ongoing investigation into the jcc threats. we made an arrest. there was a man that we
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identified after some real heavy work by the fbi and they really ran this on to the ground. the man has been charged in several ports in florida, georgia and the investigation continues. >> to your knowledge sir, the administration changed any of its policies with regard to investigating and prosecuting hate crimes since the beginning of the administration? >> no, the attorney general has been consistent and strong in his message that hate crime is violent crime. and we need to do everything we can to with all of our tools to fight this problem. it is my understanding that the attorney general established this hate crimes subcommittee. is that something that existed before? >> no, it is a new subcommittee part of his task force on crime
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redemption and public safety. it is a premier initiative and he made hate crimes committee a principal part of that initiative. >> it is part of that work of the subcommittee, are they looking at whether there has been an increase in hate crimes? >> there looking at the data. they are looking also at processes. do we have all of the tools that we need? are there reforms that we should recommend as a department? are there things that we should do internally differently? how we work with attorney general's, local law enforcement, everything is on the table to try and improve how we are addressing the hate crimes problem. >> i would imagine when looking at something like that and trying to figure out where the trend is, it has to be frustrating.
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to realize that anytime you're looking at data, you are already a year at least removed from the data. and it has to make it difficult to track that. is there anything congress can do to help you with that? >> yes, the data conversation is really part of an ongoing conversation. i note director, has testified about it.there are long-term plans for migrating to a new data system. short-term solutions that should be explored.but yes, i mean - having good data helps us allocate resources.that said, we know now that we have a hate crime problem and a religious hate crime problem. regardless. and we do not need to wait for the data to know that. we are putting resources into combating that. but having better data does allow us to do that more efficiently. >> thank you. and thank you for your work on this issue.we live in a country that is an island oasis
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of religious freedom in many respects. and at that status, we are not free from this type of bigotry that has caused's are suffering and summary parts of the world. we want to make sure that our law enforcement personnel have the tools they need to combat the violence of bigotry and as they see it. we thank you for your service. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you ranking member for this important hearing. thank you for joining us today especially short notice. you begin your written testimony with the trump administration transport they have made to address hate crimes. in addition to the justice
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department investigations into hate crimes and other potentially biased motivated incidents that you point out, the president condemned hate during his first address to congress and then last week he quote - reasserted his resolve. to confront hate crimes at an event here in the capital. these are steps and the president should be commended clearly and unequivocally condemning hate. but far too often whether it is through missteps or associations with controversial figures, the white house fails to speak clearly in opposition to bias in hate. far too often the white house sends mixed messages. mr. trevor will attempt to see factors in the rise of hate crimes and i wonder what message you think it sends to individuals who may engage in that kind of reprehensible
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behavior when the president selects steve bannon as his chief strategist. steve bannon d former chairman of breitbart news. and as leadership was regularly -- in an ideology of racism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-muslim propaganda and what message does mr. bannon's presence sends? >> senator, the message that i feel strongest as a prosecutor and attorney is the consistent message that i have gone through the attorney general to pursue hate crimes.to continue doing the work we have been doing. quasi-methane message that you got.
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i am saying, because you are not committing any of the religious hate crimes. i'm talking about people that do. what message does it send it to them?not you. that mr. bannon is chief strategist. >> right. i am as encouraged as you were by the presence before congress. >> that is not answer my question. >> yes, i can only really speak for myself and i have consistently been given the message to continue to pursue cases on behalf of muslims. >> you are the special counsel for religious discrimination. certainly you must have some perspective on this so you can share with us and what it means when the president selects a special counsel. someone who is trafficked in anti-muslim propaganda. >> senator, with all due
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respect i am here talking about hate crimes and can only stress i insisted that we should continue to pursue the cases involving -- entities hate crime cases regardless of the religion. >> i understand that. i asked the question. listen, the president came to minnesota sunday before the election. it was work public appearance there. and he told the people gathered at the airport, and airport about 1000 somalis were that minnesota suffered enough. because of the somali refugees that were there.
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what kind of message does that send to these people who desecrate mosques, who attack people who are muslim with a finger muslim? what kind of message does that send to them? >> senator i will just say in my role i am done with sending out a message that we will enforce the law for all persons that regardless of somebody's nationality, their religion, the department of justice and ready to protect their rights. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i grew up in a segregated country.some would say it is
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segregated south and of course the south was segregated. so with our country. because it has been my experience that racism and bigotry doesn't understand geographical lines. and i know we still have problems in this country. as senator frankin spoke about. it struck me listen to testimony. we are here talking about hate crimes. it is something that not that many years ago in america we would not be talking about. and i think that is a good thing. and again while we have a lot of problems in the country in terms of the way we stereotype people, i'm pretty proud of what's happened in this country. i mean in 150 years, we have gone from institutionalized avery to give one example.
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to a president of the united states that is african-american. and in the grand scheme of things, 150 years is not much at all.having said that we still have work to do. i understand that. but i want to be sure to understand our terms. what is your definition of a hate crime? >> the term hate crime can be very misleading.there are many crimes caused by hate. >> don't filibuster me. >> all i'm saying is, hate crime, there are a lot of crimes motivated by hatred, neighbor versus neighbor over something and those are serious crimes. we also recognize a category think bias crimes a better term probably. a hate crime has caught on both domestically and internationally. >> is based on status of
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legitimate status? >> based on a particular status that the legislature has decided is in need of particular protection. >> like race. >> yes.>> again, hate crimes are committed - all hate crimes at least in america in the state or county or parish but they are prosecuted by local officials. what is the justice department doing to assist them and make sure they take it seriously? >> ar hate crime statutes and 45 states. but those that do have them cover some of the - >> which don't have them? >> i do not know that offhand senator. it is not perfect. there will sometimes be crimes or there is a gap in coverage in a state. our prosecutors work with state, local law enforcement to determine is this better for them to proceed, better for us to proceed? is a cooperative endeavor? sometimes regular crimes.
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if someone is murdered, is facing capital murder. we do not need to step in, it does not need to be a hate crime. but sometimes if there was arson at a place of worship and the arson laws will only give a couple years whereas we can bring a prosecution and get b,1 for burning down a church or a mosque.so we were cooperative with the state and locals on these issues. >> what kind of hate crimes nationwide to see the most of? i would assume race but - >> races number one then religion. >> and which particular religion? >> jewish religion. about 650 and 2015. and then i think 260 something anti-muslim. so jewish is number one and the muslim is number two. both representing roughly small portions of the population which is a particular concern. >> does mr. bannon work in the
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department of justice? >> no, sir. >> okay. does the attorney general have any jurisdiction over the white house? and the white house staff? >> no senator. >> okay. is there any doubt in your mind, any doubt whatsoever - that in your opinion, the attorney general of the united states intends to pursue hate crimes vigorously? >> he has consistently given us encouragement to pursue these cases vigorously, yes. >> is there any doubt in your mind?>> no. >> none? >> no, sir. >> zero? >> no. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> some disagreement, she is next. let me know because i am going by, there is disagreement?
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[inaudible] proceed senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is no accident that there is a rise in hate crimes because we are in an environment where the president targets muslims with his language. and of course during world war ii and there was tremendous anti-japanese leading to the termination of 220,000 japanese americans. during heights of fears about importing of japanese cars, this is where the federal government does play a role. because there murdered a prosecutor at the state level and were acquitted and the federal government had to pursue these murderers. so after a most divisive campaign we are in an environment where people think it is okay to express their racism through not just words
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but through threats. so i know that we acknowledge a rise in hate crimes and that there is underreporting. so just want to ask you, last week the department of homeland security security launched the victim's of immigration -- on the one had to have an administration that supports the focus on hate crimes and then the office puts people at risk by putting personally identifiable information and not necessarily accurate information and information about children also. how can we be assured that we are not demonizing immigrants, many of whom are actually victims of hate crimes? when you were in office like this where people are encouraged to provide information about immigrant for crimes committed by immigrants? your thoughts? >> yes senator, thank you. at the civil rights division we
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frequently interact with the office of civil rights and civil liberties at dhs. i do not know about what you race but one of the things i mentioned earlier we have quarterly meetings with communities -- they are part of that. the community raised issues like the one that you have raised and this is something that we can discuss with civil rights and civil liberties office and pursue but i currently do not have any secular information about that office. >> i would ask that you pay some attention to whatever was the reason for the voice office and what is coming out of it and any endangerment of people. in fact, if the information that is released through voice is inaccurate i would say that the federal government is subject to some litigation.
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going onto, i realized the civil rights division has a subcommittee on hate crimes that is embedded in a larger task force targeting illegal immigrants and drug trafficking. i'm concerned that that hate crimes subcommittee is under a larger task force on immigration enforcement. can you assure us that the hate crimes subcommittee is given sufficient clarity within the civil rights division? yes senator, the overall task force, the task force on crime reduction in public safety. and in recognition of the fact that the attorney general believes that hate crime is a violent crime problem. it is part of the violent crime problem in america.he has put one of the key subcommittees there as a hate crimes subcommittee that is headed by the head of the civil rights division. and so it has a great deal of
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autonomy. it is also part of that broader effort so that marquis effort to combat all forms of violent crime in the us. >> actually there is a larger task force targeting illegal immigrants.and the administration is not a fan of immigration. so i would hate for the subcommittee to become consumed by the fervor of focusing on illegal immigration. so please assure me that it will not happen. >> to my understanding, the task force, is focused on all forms of violent crime and that is its focus. and hate crimes are a part of that. i do not have any indication that it is focused on - >> is there something that they will issue your own reports or,
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and also since education, racism is learned. and so i would be really interested to know how your subcommittee will focus on starting early through the educational or through education efforts because prosecution is one thing. i do not know how much of a deterrent prosecution is. albeit very important. but really hatred is learned so i would like to know what kind of focus you are putting on the prevention side through education. >> i agreed with that and in the civil rights division we put a lot of focus into ensuring equal educational opportunity. dues are able to get educated free of harassment. >> i will have further questions for you. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. treene. thank you for being here. i think some has been said about some of the advisors the president has brought in.
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i think in the department of justice we can go back to 2009 and see in attorney general and a senator who is a ranking member that had a concern with the uptick in hate crimes and prompted a discussion and ultimately a hearing on it. it sounds like to me you are not getting anything but keep your foot on the accelerator in terms of pursuing hate crime prosecutions.>> that is correct, senator. >> the task force he mentioned 45 states implement in some legislation. and looking at how you can work more closely with state and local governments, is there any forward leaning states in terms of how well they have done at the state level? the reason i asked that question is to get more leverage in terms of judicial
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capacity and have other resources. >> i am a little reluctant to put out a little for leaving out some that are doing a good job. but we talked to some prosecutors about new york. and he said i don't remember the last time that after looking at a hate crime thought we need to come in because they were doing such a fantastic job. kudos to them but kudos to others and i do not want to leave others out by listing several.>> how are your resources going? are you properly resourced for the cases you are dealing with? 's yes. i mean i would hold back on answering that because i know we are coming up on budget time. i know we are able to do a lot of great work. every agency will say we need more but i will leave that to the departmental folks who are making requests on behalf of the whole department. >> what about other devices or authorities that we should consider at the federal level
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to give you more tools for prosecution? >> the summit will have a general look at legislative proposals. >> any generally accepted as things that you would like to see? >> you know i do not want to jump the gun and discuss what i think is good when we have not had the time. we are creating space for communities and local prosecutors, fbi, civil rights to come together and work through this. and i do not want to get ahead of that. >> one thing in the task force that i would really encourage you to look at. i was in the north carolina legislature for a few years. making sure that data collection is very important. we need more information to be more instructed in how we pursue these kinds of crimes and identify trends. but there can also be heavy-handed data collection
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which creates a distraction for people in law enforcement and the courts and then there can be rights treene hope you have the right minds and the task force looking for that. >> the right. that is what we want to make sure we include state and local law enforcement in the discussion. they're the ones are we facing the burden of data collection on the user end. >> thank you mr. chair. >> before i call on senator -- senator leahy, they were not able to come incident but if i do put a statement in the record for them. without objection that will happen now. >> thank you chairman.ranking member feinstein. thank you mr. treene for your testimony. as you heard from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle we are deeply concerned about the rise in hate crimes targeting religious minority facing the united states and the rise.
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in delaware a bit alarmed to see the jewish community targeted with multiple bomb threats and to see muslim americans and neighbors and friends fearful as a result of the toxic rhetoric and violence around the country. you sir have testified there has been a noticeable uptake in violent crimes, hate crimes against muslims and those who are perceived to be muslim. in my home state we have had a period of positive rallies voting tolerance at the jcc, at the main mosque, at the general assembly. but citizens from my state are asking for a clear unified message from federal law enforcement and from the federal government. and you and administration of gotten that message. 100 senators. have joined a lender back in march calling for doj, jhs at the agitate quick response to widespread bunkers to jcc and i will submit for the record it is pretty rare that 100 of us agree on anything. and in april ranking member feinstein wrote a letter in the
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doj needs to directly address the steadily increasing number of religiously motivated hate crimes. i've two questions. first how do you establish priorities when there are so many different groups that are feeling unsafe? they feel threatened, they feel that the proportion of drugs against them as a percentage of the population as you suggested steadily going up. and how do we pursue prosecution and had to be changed the temperature? and my second question follows up on what senator franken asked. i hear that you have gotten consistent message from attorney general sessions to keep prosecuting hate crimes. but this is in response to a significant deficit created in the course of the campaign. and it would suggest that then candidate donald trump in
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raleigh at the rally made statements about a muslim vent, about immigrants, about those minority folks that i think led to an inflaming of passions and an unconstructive way.and i do think that the continued presence of steve bannon is one of the most in your advisors, continue to send mixed messages. while i'm encouraged of the city attorney general has sent a consistent message and that is good, and concerned that there is a mixed message being sent to the country. that the president last week at an event made positive appropriate statements about combating religiously hatred and there's a lot of work to do to overcome and accumulated deficit. message that was spread far and wide during the campaign and in steve bannon's present in the united states continues to reinforce a mixed message. how do set priorities and how do set them in a way that deals with this deficit of confidence among some religious minorities in the country feel that they
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were targeted in the course of the campaign? >> thank you, senator. on the question of priorities. we want to be able to ensure that every hate crime that occurs in the united states that the perpetrators card and are punished with just punishment. and that is something that the federal government alone cannot do but we have 94 us attorneys working with state and local law enforcement and is a very complex, the system of government is very complex but it is a complex system of working with state and locals, finding and giving cases, maybe we don't think they are pursuing it strongly enough and then stepping in and having a tough discussion or more often, having a give-and-take about who should be prosecuting this case. it is complex but we are a country with 50 different states and a web of federalist laws. so that is how we do it.
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but it is something that we think we can do better and that is part of the purpose of the task force and - on the question of messaging, one of the things that we always try to do is we send a message in our actions and prosecuting the case. tom wheeler has been very strong in his press statements as the us attorneys press statement in hate crimes. especially the muslim hate crimes saying that an attack on one faith is an attack on her fundamental principles. and we as americans cannot stand as one group is attached. anything that messaging is very important coming from the civil rights division and coming from the attorney general and the whole justice department.>> thank you, sir.at some point i expect that the committee will send a unified message that we expect the prosecution of hate crimes particularly
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against religious minorities particularly against those where they have been a steady uptake in both hate speech and hate crime against them. that will be high on his or her priority list. >> senator -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you having the hearing. welcome mr. treene. thank you for your testimony. your job is to fight hatred and bias based on race, religion or ethnicity, correct?>> yes, as well as hate crimes based on sexual orientation. >> and you are a law clerk for a very interesting federal judge, were you not? >> yes. >> does it concern you that the president of united states denounced a judge based on his ethnicity? >> i'm here representing the department on hate crimes and i do not think it is appropriate for me to speak about that.
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>> really? a federal judge denounced based on ethnicity and you have no comment? >> well, you know i am here to discuss the issue of religious intolerance and hate crimes and do not believe it is appropriate to go far afield into many other areas that might be out there. >> i recognize that we cannot extract an answer from you here. but i am surprised that you do not have a concern about the enunciation by the president of the united states of a federal judge based on his ethnicity. and i hope you will reconsider and perhaps submit something further in writing. >> because culture and leadership are important in this area. i want to tell you a story. that i think illustrates the importance of leadership. hate crimes are insidious
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because they harm not only the victim but also the community. and in connecticut, we had an incident that deeply divided our community and created tremendous contention when one of the mosques neighbors shot the building and was then charged under federal hate crimes laws by the united states attorney for connecticut. instead of this man being condemned to incarceration, instead, he was assigned as the advocacy of the mosque itself. to do community service. and in fact, he performed
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community service at the mosque and tried to bring together the entire community. his example of community service at the mosque was the result of the leaders of the muslim community advocating to the us attorney's office and of course the incarceration would have a less constructive - i have a bill called the no-hit act that would permit judges to -- for people convicted under hate crime laws. i visited the mosque and in fact i observed the individual who fired the shots through the press at the mosque and i think i may have met him there and
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heard leaders in the mosque described their personal experience. the kind of awareness and education and cultural contribution made by this kind of statute i think could be substantial. would you agree? >> very much so senator. and i would just mention that in my work, i interact with many muslim communities around the world and have heard stories like this. one in tennessee with one of the chief opponents of the mosque they went into an emergency room with a heart problem and low and behold, the cardiologist she was brought in to help her was one of the board members of the mosque. after he treated her with great respect even know if she was, and he left, he started crying and told the er dr. that she just did not know.
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she just did not know that this is who or that he could be like this. and this is what we need to overcome. >> i agree. and senator - made a reference to the importance of culture and learning and so forth. there is a great song in musical called south pacific about prejudice. it has to be carefully taught. and i think i'm teaching that kind of bias and prejudice is something all of us have to do and in fact, i am among 13 senators, 12 of my colleagues have joined in this effort including senator -- in a letter calling for the white house to establish a presidential task force. on hate crimes. would you think that is a good idea? >> that is only something i will take back to the attorney general and the subcommittee as
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one possible recommendation. >> thank you. >> by the way, calling senator blumenthal your honor is not a bad thing. i think he is argue more cases in front of the us supreme court than any living senator. so don't worry about that. i appreciate your commitment to making sure that hate crimes get prosecuted and i want to echo the view. i think you've heard loud and clear from all of my colleagues that it is a bit disconcerting to have an administration that so often telegraphs enthusiasm for division and for discrimination while at the same time you are being asked to prosecute fully and fairly where these cases turn up. if that is not a message he received from his hearing, let me say that it should be.
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one can't just wait around for a hate crime to take place and then prosecuted as you well know. it is also very important that proper investigation be done into organizations that promise or threatened hate crimes. there are neo-nazi groups in this country. there are white supremacist groups in this country. there are so-called militia groups in this country. that create a significant risk of violence and even terrorism. and a lot of what they would do in the way of criminal activity i think would be safely described as a hate crime given the motivations that bring
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those groups together. could you tell me a little bit on the investigative side. obviously we cannot go into details but are you satisfied that efforts to monitor, infiltrate, get warnings of violent behavior from and in other ways, put the law enforcement spotlight onto these groups is adequate? >> thank you, senator. certainly organize hate groups are a significant problem in the us. one that particularly affects the jewish community. i think we look at, they submitted crimes are disproportionately submitted by
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organized groups as opposed to individuals who just go off on their own. if you look at our cases, i really am reluctant to talk about investigative techniques. except to the extent in cases like the robert -- case mentioned earlier in testimony. a man from tennessee who was reaching out to others on the internet to plot this attack on a mosque in a community in new york. a very small community formed by african-americans in upstate new york. and there, the fbi using confidential informants was able to infiltrate and obtain the information we needed to prove a trial and have them convicted on four counts. so it is certainly a tool the fbi's toolbox. >> do see that as an episodic effort that occurred because
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somebody bumped across information that caused the investigation to emerge? or are you comfortable that the fbi has a systemic and systematic efforts to infiltrate and gather intelligence on white supremacist militia type groups that threaten violence to american citizens? >> at the civil reservation we are on the prosecutorial and purity work with the fbi and i would defer largely to fbi to testify. >> my question is are you satisfied from what you see? >> yes, yes i am. >> of the fbi has a systematic effort to infiltrate, gather evidence and intelligence about potential violence from such organizations. >> yes, in the cases i have worked on. that has been my experience. >> great, thank you very much. thank you, chairman.
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>> thank you very much for your testimony. i know it is a long series of questions you had. it is very important to have the administrations and your department. i thank you very much and you are dismissed. >> with the next panel, as i introduce you? our second panel has four witnesses. jonathan greenblatt, ceo and national director of anti- defamation league. prior to that serve the special assistant to president obama. mr. greenblatt has a degree from -- university. next is doctor -- the dr. is
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the director of the arnold institute of global health at mount sinai hospital. he is also an attending physician. phd degree from rockefeller university and md from cornell third witness -- on june 1 she became president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights. prior to that she served as acting assistant attorney general at justices civil rights division. she has 100 letters degree from yale and law from new york university. achieved will johnson is our
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final witness. he is the chief of police for the arlington police department in arlington, texas. he is testifying on behalf of the international association of chiefs of police. he is a graduate of the fbi national academy, hasn't undergraduate from texas tech, masters degree from tcu and will go in the way the way she should be mr. greenblatt, will you please proceed.>> thank you, mr. chairman. >> chairman, ranking member feinstein and members of the committee. on behalf of the anti-defamation league let me first say thank you for your leadership and recognizing the importance of religious hate crimes. since 1913 the goal has been to stop the -- to us this is a dual mission. with fair treatment secured for
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all, our democracy is strengthened. that is what puts jews and minorities, and when they feel safe and secure in the country that is good for the democracy. you have my full testimony. first they have been pulling and anti-somatic attitudes since 1964. the good news is that a large majority of americans do not subscribe to the stereotypes. but while attitudes are down as the chairman noted in his opening comments actual anti-semitic instances are off. lester was a 34 percent increase including acts of harassment and violence. alarming and just the first three months of this year that contain six percent. moreover there are nearly as many incidents of anti-semitic bullying and vandalism at k-12 schools in the last quarter is to place in all of 2016. we see this as a deeply
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unsettling pattern about the messages of our children are getting and acting upon. second, the ranking member noted, we have data relevant to the size of this growing problem. even the fbi's information is incomplete. test test test test test test
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others are being targeted for their religion. i should point out that muslims are feeling especially vulnerable because of the rhetoric that was touted during the last campaign and during the muslim man earlier. in a recent poll they found that
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americans that violence against jews in a higher percentage, 76% were violent perhaps surprisingly, 89% of muslim americans indicated the same. in response to these challenges, we believe to mix the approaches this would include number one, establishing a federal tax force to -- i applaud them for creating a subcommittee within the aji tax force and we think a federal approach to launch the next. number two, helping law enforcement agencies to improve data collection and training about how to handle hate crimes and deal with their victims. number three, moving forward on legislative strategy including an acting center to involve no
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hate asked, passing an amendment to the church arson prevention act which was referenced earlier , securing passage of the anti-semitism awareness back and strengthening existing hate crime laws. for, addressing cyber hate, new means for legal redress of cyber bullying, cyber stalking, which are not covered under the existing loss. finally, number five, making sure that calling out bigotry whenever it happens, we appreciated the president strong statement when he was here last month. we were grateful in the senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning racial and ethnic hate crimes. whether it's the us president calling out heat in the country or university president calling out hate on the campus, we hope this trend will continue. in sum, we have a leadership role in conducting hate crimes and alleviating intolerance. thank you. >> mr. greenblatt,.
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>> my name. thank you for inviting me here today. as a physician and scientist focus on community health i'm an optimist by nature but the last month it felt particularly cruel strategy has rippled across the community. last month, a sick cabdriver was assaulted and had his turban ripped off in new york city. in march, us chic was shot outside his cab in seattle. apart from chairing humanity we share something else. on september 201st 2013 i just dropped off my wife and my son was one year old at the time. before walking to a well lit intersection near columbia university. as i passed a group of 20-30 young men on bicycles i heard
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terraced and osama from behind me as i felt my beard forcibly pulled. i turned around in time to see the entire group was mobilizing for me. the group surrounded me and began punching my face and body. as a physician, i neatly knew that my job was fractured as i could feel my teeth moving back and forth. thankfully bystanders intervened and prevented even worse outcome the next morning i had surgery to place a stabilizing plate in my mouth which remains in place for many weeks even as a return to work. a few days after being attacked i wrote an article that showed how date grateful i was that my wife and son were not with me. today they are here with me and he is now four years old. i still think about that evening my experience receive national attention and americans open their hearts to be. i still have boxes overflowing with prayer cards from churches nationwide. i cherish the letters from jewish leaders who share their experience anti-semitism.
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i still remember the letters from muslims who share their fears about their children safety. i experienced the professionalism of nyd beneath hate crime unit and i was interested in whether mike's breeze had become part of the fbi cream statistics. we cannot address we do not know . none of the headlines during that time mentioned that a recent somalian immigrant, muslim for a job, was also was also attacked by the same group that same evening. the young man threw a bottle of urine at her face cutting her nose. i know that because she was in the stretcher next to me. when i asked why they mentioned it he said it would complicate the story. we cannot accept in premise. there's no such thing as a mistake in hate crime. the only mistake is thinking otherwise. the other two times i was physically attacked after 9/11
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did not make the news. i did not feel comfortable reporting them to anybody but my family and friends. then on august 5th, 2012 a neo-n neo-nazi gunman murdered six worshippers. they delivered powerful testimony. i urge all of you to watch it again. these made me more aware . religious and minority communities have been -- why are these acts of hate growing? i was horrified to hear our president this past weekend telling thousands of people that they are snakes waiting to bite america.
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words matter. when political leaders it lays the ground work. senators, i urge you to review the written testimony that work on these issues. i wish to close with two recommendations. one is that hate crime reporting should be monday tear, not voluntary. as a physician i can attest it is crucial in the scope of the challenges unknown. words matter. politicians must hold each other accountable. it seems fashionable but it endangers all of us. my personal experience is a case in point. please hold each other accountable and make it step. senators, i have two young sons and you can see my eldest with me here today and with his
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grandfather, my dad. i worry about both of them. my father who brought us from india. you may be surprised to hear there's a large population in indiana. i fear they won't be heard until something tragic happens. my son loves soccer, trains and dora the explorer. no one on our block treats him differently and they watched out for him like he was theirs. a majority of kids like him will be bullied and harassed in school. i know firsthand i didn't want to talk about physical or verbal assaults with my parents. how children are treated tells
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us who we aspire to be. i want to talk to him about this hearing and tell him on this day a group of senators looked me in the eye and said they thought about you as they committed to addressing it openly and honestly. senators, i'm deeply grateful for this opportunity to share my story with you. thank you. >> hard to follow that testimony. thank you very much for holding this hearing on this very important topic on the religious
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hate crimes today and inviting me to testify. i'm pleased to be here in the work to combat hate violence. this hearing comes it a very crucial time when too many people in our country feel unwelcomed and unsafe. comments and policies are casting dispersion on other communities have heightened concerns that the united states is normalizing hate. it can only very much kill victim reporting. an alarming number of hate motivated violence have shaken the public it is inon all of us.
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hate crimes are domestic terrorism. i met with hate crime victims whose loved ones had been slain by hay violence. the senate's hearing into the rise i think sends a powerful message america will not normalize hate based rye lens in any form. so thank you. by a staggering 67% between 2014 and 2015. since january of this year muslim advocates tracked more than 80 incidents of violence and threats of violence targeting american muslims and those perceived as muslims the
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anti defamation league has surged by more than one-third in 2016 and have suched 86% in the first quarter of 2017 hate crimes have hiked the number continues to rise. in response to disturbing trends they recently partnered with 12 organizations to launch communities against hate. it is an effort that seeks to empower community-based organizations to respond effectively to hate including where ever possible to report crimes to police and assist in the prosecution. when i lead the civil rights division we not only prosecuted hate crimes but we also promoted prevention efforts, held round
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table discussions around the country and conducted trainings with federal stilt aate and locw enforcement officers. these efforts must continue. while my written statement contains many recommendations i want to highlight a few that i think bear mentioning. until it happens the fbiened u.s. attorneys offices shlgs which are the face of the justice department, can do more to follow up with the overwhelming number of jurisdictions that either fail to report or report there are zero hate crimes at all.
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prosecute hate crimes and training efforts with federal, local and state partners. fourth, congress should provide funding for anti bias. it is in the enough to engage to enforcement. those initiatives need funding. everyone has spoken to this. we urge congress to spoke out in all forms. our government must do everything in its power to ensure people in this country live free from harm.
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thank you for the opportunity to speak today. i look forward to any questions you may have. >> thank you for the opportunity to spoke today about a major concern to law enforcement. i'm a police chief in arlington, texas i'm also a member of the board of directors for chiefs of police and currently chair of the human and civil rights committee. it is the largest enforcement leaders with over 28,000 members representing 137 different countries. today we are focusing on religious hate crimes. they can also extend to cross-claims basd on ethnicities, gender identity or
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sexual orientation. these crimes have far reaching effects on our communities spreading fear and toxicity. we have been discussing the impacts of hate crimes for close to two deck sides when we held our first summit. we have developed to aid law enforcement ageneral i haves. this resource was in conjunction of the anti defamation. i'm happy to be here with the adl. we look forward to working with her in her new role.
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over the years one of the greatest barriers has been to lack of statistical data. in short we have a data problem. i won't retalt what has already been been stated but clearly we are a hate crime problem. we also need our communities to report hate crime incidents. the most recent hate crime shows estimated 60% of total and violent hate crime were not reported to police in 2012. regrettably we heard another example today about hate crimes that weren't reported but yet were endured by the community.
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the decision to classify a crime as a hate crime in a separate act to decide whether or not to bring forward hate crime charges can be comply kate. it's extremely difficult to determine the intentions of an individual offender. we must press forward to pursue all hate crimes and prosecute them as such. additionally the internet provides the ability to spread and recruit followers. individual racists have the power to reach a global audience and to communicate among the like minded individuals easily, inexpensively and oftentimes anonymously. we must find ways to address this issue and to address the
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issue of self-radicalization that can come from these type of outreaches. the first amendment usually protects many forms of expression. there is a growing trend to indim date people and we must fight against this. regardless of the mote of delivery it is never acceptable for is it prektd under the first amendment. we would like to bring forward a few instances. first and foremost we immediate more programs and funding for officer training and education. clearly we have a responsibility to make sure we are doing the best job possible of capturing so they can be successfully
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introduced into the judicial process. next we need expanded funding in police relations only through effective police relations can we address this hate and justice that must follow following each of these instances. it has been spoken about what can be done to enhance mandatory reporting in the united states. the iecp is pleased with the attorney general to the creation as part of the attorney general's task force. as a membership organization we look forward to participating but we must urge it must produce
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action and not just a discussion on this point so we can serve our members of our communities. finally we would echo about all elected officials and those to bring this issue to the forefront of public discussion. all need to condemn every chance that we can. you hold an important role. as a nation in your communities want to hear you speak out against these issues. in conclusion, religious freedom is a bedrock of our democratic republic. a fundamental aspect is to protect those that are worshipping our hate crimes and
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the protection of our citizens should be a own vuniversally sh goal. i thank you again for the opportunity to testify on this most important topic. i'm happy to answer any questions you might have. >> it is probably not enough for us to say that we are sorry for the crime you had to endure and the suffering that came from it. i don't think we would be very human to recognize that's what you face. we do appreciate your telling us your story. one of the parts is how to mob humiliated you before the assau assault. apart from your serious physical injuries can you tell us about any lasting emotional or psychological trauma and tell us
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about your point of view on that as belwell. >> thank you for your kind remarks. on a personal basis given that the attack was the third time i was attacked science 9/11, the first two times i struggled considerably from an emotional perspective. while i was trying to go through training as a scientist through the national institute of health training program. i made it through but it was a significant challenge.
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what i have shaerd improving trauma informed engagement is very important. i know i saw two very different sides of the coin, an incredibly professional unit that knew how to interact with me, that had the resources and background to help me really move forward from that incident. i really had enjoid learning from our local precinct but they weren't prepared to interact at that juncture. my community is a real source of support. most that reached out to me that i hear regularly are struggling
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and don't know what to do in the aftermath. i think it's a significant area of worth and mental health is something i hope we will learn more about. >> you have heard my colleagues and people on the panel bring up the issue that crime statistics aren't very accurate. we have had some for mandatory reporting. there are problems with agencies failing to report at all or failing to report accurately but i am skeptical. we often see news reports of crimes that were hate crimes. reports indicate that law
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enforcement only considers them to be potential hate crimes. there seems to be a reluctance i don't see how it will change missed opportunities. what do you think explains a religious hate crime? is there any way to get around the problem if you see it as i see it? if you don't that's okay too. >> i appreciate the question. there are opportunities to always do better. i believe there is an opportunity to better equip and educate our work force i would
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like to provide an example to the committee if i can about a challenge about beyond the individual reporting of the hate crime by the responding officer. i responded to a woman who was buying groceries. somebody had carved a racial slur into her minivan. i remember there was nothing i could do to help restore what this woman had gone through. i also remember the fact that it was clear to me it was not the first time she experienced the hate crime.
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it would have been impossible for the responding officer to know it was hate motivated that suspect from committing that act. it truly is the problem in the challenge that law enforcement has. no effective way for us to report it definitively in our reporting process. we have to have a balanced approach, enhanced officer training but also the recognition this is not an easily solved problem. >> okay. >> let me say thank you to the four of you. i do think leaders have to stand up. i think police leaders have to
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stand up too. and so, chief, you have made three recommendations. you have said make crime reporting mandatory. i agree. we should. secondly, programs and training and then thirdly expanded effective police community relations. i would like to make a suggestion to you, that you go to the chiefs association. i understand you have a new chief from florida. i have found the chiefs very effective on the hill i am willing to draft legislation and say will you work with me on it to do all of the three. but there's this vulgar expression, the fish rots from
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the head. i think the head of our government has to understand we need to work to bring people together. that's a very big part of the leadership agenda. so what i'm asking of you is if you will involve the chiefs association in the three points that you made in terms of recommendations, i know that senator will likely assist with this. i think we can bring about a new day of awareness. i think particularly with cyber bullying and doing this over the internet i have firsthand information on what it does to
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young people. it is terrible what it does. the suicides, cutting of themselves. i think there is room for us to establish prohibitions. i would like to work with the chiefs association. i hope you will take that message back, will you? >> could you raise that mic? >> yes, ma'am. we are absolutely prepared to make sure all persons are provided equal protections under the law. that's what we are speaking of on this issue. certainly i think the recording of all hate crime to understand what issues were faced could be helpful. i also know that if mandatory
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reporting was the only element that was passed it would be ineffective. >> i think it's a bingo moment. thank you. miss gupta, i know of your good work in the past. you're wokked back here any time. would you provide leadership in your organization to help with this effort? >> of course the issue has been a long-standing priority for the leadership conference. it continues to be in these times. i do want to under score that while every witness that i have heard and indeed many senators have spoken of the importance of
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officials using their bull ppul that it's about making communities some of the most vulnerable communities and so it's words and its policies. >> thank you. >> would you lead the adl to provide help if we try to put together a legislative agenda and this assumes we'll stand on the pulpit. >> yes, ma'am. we would be glad to play a role with you. you asked about that numbers, and i can tell you, we have a little over 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the
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united states. about 1,800 actively report on hate crimes. it's over 13,000 and then about 3,400 communities don't report at all. now, the adl trains law enforcement. this was noted earlier. we train about 15,000 officers every year. this is a big part of our focus. as you pointed out it is indeed so important. i think to build upon what they said, words and actions and knowing the policy. there are policies you could explore in the legislation. we pointed out -- i pointed out in my testimony but i'll highlight a couple of quick bullets for you. number one, the department of
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justice should promote hate crime reporting and the fbi should encourage this as well. number two, you could rate and score police departments and consider them for federal fundifun funding on the basis. you could think about performance audits based on compliance with the hate crimes statistics act. there are programs. the fbi has a program by a reporting system that could use more money to facilitate to fbi to track these more effectively. there could be carrots and sticks to ensure performance in this area. >> would you be willing to participate in an effort to put a policy instruction together which we might turn into law?
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>> thank you, senator. absolutely. i would count on that and it would be excellent. i think the gross numbers are so extraordina extraordinary. i really believe we have to take some action. the four people here really represent varyings a tec aspectr society which can be important in the solution. if we can put something together that we can take your thoughts and particularly mandatory reporting, that ought to happen. we can certainly do that. but the rest of the program to really develop a policy directive that can be used on the local and the state level as well as on our level would really be helpful.
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those institutions would be very welcomed. thank you, mr. chairman. while you two are asking questions i will step in to be briefed on another subject and then i'll come back and close the meeting down. >> thank you. every school should identify bullying and maybe the subset of bullying or hate based.
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would you agree that would be a step towards addressing some of the underlying problems with the expression of bias in our country? >> thank you, senator. i would strongly agree it could be important. i would also add that especially that formative stage when children are going through elementary school they are curious and would like to know about the people around them. it is the perfect time to make sure we give them the opportunity to engage with that broader set of education that they need about it. >> and yet at the national level this is something that she can address. you did say one of the recommendations you would make would be funding educational programs to prevent it requires
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schools to have these policies and actions that can be taken. is there something we can do at the federal level to address the bullying in our schools problem? >> yeah. i think it's really important there be funding for programs for youth violence prevention and they make available information about effective interventions around anti bias training and hate crime prevention programs. you know, this is a cultural issue as much as we can talk about enforcement. we have got to be focusing on prevention as well. starting in the schools where children can be the most vulnerable. it really exposes children to understanding. those values are fundamental. i also, just because groups
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including the adl have been so concerned about the current state it is important we have been working together on communities against hate initiative to do public education to be able to put out messages that are focused on preventing hate crimes, working with students, connecting victims of hate crimes to fill the void right now but certainly funding educational programs to help do that culture change is vitally important. >> clearly there are a number of steps to be taken. there are a lot of collaboration that needs to occur if we want to get to the bottom of this. racism is never far below the surface. as a minority person myself i can certainly relate to how it feels to be targeted. every time our country targets a minority group we are deemed --
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the history shows we are very very wrong. this doesn't stop in our country. i think this is an opportunity for us to support those kinds of programs that evidence shows works. there are a number of fronts that we can go in. in fact, i was really shocked there is cyber bullying going on. there is another area that you have said you will work with our committee. it is to come up with appropriate legislation. cyber bullying, 2.6 million tweets -- >> yeah. >> some times these tweets lead to overt actions that are very dangerous. >> they certainly do. you know, the adl just opened up to focus on the increasing threat of online abuse, cyber
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bullying, cyber stalking. this is all really begins to crest. at the current time we lack adequate policy mechanisms. we engage with industry on a daily basis. we are working with google, facebook, microsoft, amazon, twit tore identify and deal with specific incidents, but i could give you a long list of where we see online activities actually spill off into the real world. we have seen them be attacked with people stalking their homes, people sending threatening letters, people doing things to undermine their professional lives. we recently saw that was quite horrible where the jewish community leaders were
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threatened by the alt-right. we would be delighted to work with you to explore legislation to deal with the issue. >> thank you. thank you chief johnson, for the enlightened thinking you have brought to this committee. >> thank you, senator. >> before recognizing i would like to ask consent to place the following statements in the record of muslim pub luck affairs council and a letter from members of the senate to the president of the united states. >> thank you. i would like to thank our terrific panel for our service and leadership and testimony here today. your individual testimony about both your experiences and your add crow ka si. thank you for what you're doing
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in believe use roles you have been effective voices against hate and hate crimes. let me see if i can get one question into each of you. as i said in my previous round of questioning delaware saw bomb throats against our community center. i was endourjed that a broad range rallied to stand up to such hate and to seuch threats and terrorism. when there were inappropriate statements about muslims and those perceived to be muslim earlier in the year. you have talked about pushing back against online hate. i was encouraged by that. i am also concerned about threats that target houses of worship. we have seen mosques targeted. what more should the government do to ensure that federal
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resources are available to support institutions that are seeing significant threats to their security? >> well, we certainly think it starts with making sure law enforcement is trained for centers be they. it is critical they appreciate the sensitivity of ensuring they had adequate protection. secondly i think speaking up at the local level really matters as well. as we heard about what happened in delaware, the fact that local elected officials stood up and spoke out i think was really vital in sending a signal. i know there have been additional funds to harden the institutions themselves. we appreciate that some would want additional resources. we have concern about that
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because of funds, difficulty of tracking such dollars, the competition that could ensue at the local level. we think investing in law enforcement agencies to provide training and support is an appropriate response. >> thank you. >> chief johnson, if i might, what training and tools are currently available to make sure we are able to train and support local law enforcement in understanding how to respond to threats against houses of worship and to make sure we are moving forward with bias free policing. in my view having well trained and well supported law enforcement and having them in particular trained in how to respond against houses of worship makes it more likely that we will have more thorough reporting, more timely and appropriate investigation and more effective prosecution.
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what's your view, chief? >> yes, sir. i would agree there are a variety of different avenues which we can focus our training. it spoke about the partnership and how we worked. i would take an opportunity to provide ked kated training materia
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material. i would close with our highest need. we are facing -- hate crimes being one. the ability for bond and gand juries and mental health and all of these different things, we need to pass national crime and have a review of all of these different threats and issues confronting our communities and address it systematically from all different aspects. >> i agree with you, chief. i think we should sustain investments that make it possible for state and local law enforcement to get the sort of training and other organizations
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that have materials. my last question, these issues shouldn't be partisan. you heard earlier 100 senators joined urging prompt response, effective response earlier this year. are there civil rights division that you hope to see continued that would be effective in combatting hate crimes and promoting inclusiveness during this administration? >> yes. thank you, senator. as i said before, enforcement of our laws is vital but insufficient to meet the needs right now. it is to continue very aggressive outreach with particularly vulnerable communities. when i was head of civil rights division we went to all corners of the country to talk about the relationship between school bullying and hate crimes and understand what some local
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solutions are. the justice department made it a priority. there was not a law enforcement agency. with the fbi and u.s. attorneys. hate crimes, prove how you build trust and they were with community based organizations. i want to close that it is really important that in order to have any effective for justice department there needs to be trust between the most vulnerable communities and important institutions. and so the ongoing work of ensuring that they don't trust police were often the face of the government themselves is vitally important.
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the ongoing work, there needs to be an ongoing investment to the kinds of programs they engage in to rebuild trust where it has been eroded but also to recognize that words and policies that come out carry and can have their own impact on the ability for law enforcement to be able to address and prevent crime. so it is a multi-faceted effort out of the justice department. they are vitally important. my hope is they will continue. >> thank you. i look forward to continuing to work with you. as we step up to advocate. everybody in our state who has need of the protection of law
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enforcement to be able to worship freely. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator bloomenthal. >> thank you for bringing together this excellent panel on a profoundly important topic. i want to thank you for endorsing the no hate bill and thank each of you and the other members of the panel for your really hands on work. i want to say how grateful i am to the adl for ilts work apart from working with our law enforcement as you do, the work that you do in our schools and communities is so profoundly important in raising awareness and education. i want to say also how grateful i am that you filed on the travel ban and refugee siting
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periods in our history, this nation's history, the greatest nation in the history of the world where we have turned away refugees that st. louis in is the 39 the chinese exclusion and then the interment of the japanese during world war ii, shameful periods in our history where in effect the nation to hatred and demonstrated proactive and positive leadership at the national level. i hope that we will see such leadership. in my view we have yet to see it, and i hope that we will see it in the future. i want to ask ms.gupta, could you talk to us a little bit about why you think there are
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relatively few prosecutions? i think i know the answer but perhaps you could tell us about the difficulty of investigating and prosecuting these crimes and why it's so so important to hav leaders at the local level like chief johnson on your side? >> it is -- thank you for that question, senator. it is absolutely vital to have leaders like chief johnson and the iacps that's been working on effective hate crimes response but also on rebuilding police/community trust in communities all over the country. which as i said is a vitally important thing. nobody in law enforcement or the justice department can do much about any hate crime if communities don't feel safe in reporting them. we've talked a lot about data and the data problem and pointed to what we can do about local police departments reporting. but the fact of the matter is also that individuals in these
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vulnerable communities need to feel safe in reporting. it's why it's very important for law enforcement to also have trust with community based organizations in the local communities. often, these organizations are the front lines for hearing about incidents of violence from victims who may be too afraid to report or don't trust the police or don't trust the government. and so being able to have that is vitally important. i also think it's why it's a critically important to have training in all parts of the country with law enforcement, with the fbi, kind of state local, law enforcement and with community based organizations of the kind that we had been doing in prior years. so that we can build trust but also so that community and law enforcement are aware of -- what kind of information is necessary to be able to prosecute these cases. these are difficult cases and there are some high standards of proof that have been established
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through the courts. and, therefore, having this kind of flow of information is vitally important. >> as you have probably read and perhaps seen from your own experience in this area, the fears that have been so widespread as a result of the administration's expanded apprehension policies relating to immigration. the kinds of panic in some cases that have caused women, victims of domestic violence, to decline to come forward, simply because they fear deportation. i'm wondering whether that kinds of fear also can deter members of other communities, immigrants who are here illegally who may victims of hate crime, from coming forward and participating in the criminal justice system. >> senator, thank you for
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raising that. it is, i think, a very real think. i think it has always been real, but it's very real right now. and it isn't just that people who are undocumented may be feeling fear. it affects all immigrants and people of color from feeling comfortable in certain circumstances from trusting law enforcement. and that hurts law enforcement. but i think it's most important not to hear it necessarily from me, but actually to hear it from the police chiefs around the country that very much understand just how important it is that their ability to solve crime and to have the trust of victims not be impeded through kind of politicized policy making that is going to hurt their very core public safety mission. that, you know, effects all law enforcement activity up and down the chain. >> i have talked to members of the muslim community, for example, in connecticut, who have told me often they know of
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victims, it including their children who are bullied at school or others who are victims of harassment. based on their ethnic or racial or religious status. and are very reluctant to come forward because they feel they may encounter immigration authorities and sometimes without any real basis as you say, the apprehension may be simply that they're here and they are immigrants. therefore, they're reluctant to come forward. and i would encourage others if you have answers to this question or comments or observation. >> i can tell you from our perspective that we certainly hear about this, we hear about legal immigrants who are simply concerned with interacting with law enforcement because of prior experiences in their home countries, for example. or any engagement with governmental authorities resulted in interrogation,
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imprisonment or worse. there might not be a basis for their concerns here, but it inhibits their desire to work with law enforcement or other authorities. i'd also like to say, as the grandson of a holocaust survivor who fled the horrors of nazi germany and moved to connecticut. it's incumbent on all of us as public figures to speak up and stand up for the other. we were once strangers and we remember what it means to be denigrated. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you all for participating in a very worth while meeting we've had and a very worth while panel. meeting adjourned.
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now we're live on capitol hill this morning, as fbi director james comey will be making his first appearance before a senate committee since the beginning of president trump's administration. he'll be appearing this morning for a judiciary meeting. hillary clinton referred to the fbi director last night in her first extensive remarks for the election. she blamed him for her lost. she's quoted yesterday saying i was on the way to winning until a combination of jim comey's letter on october 28th and russian wikileaks raised doubts in the minds that were inclined to vote for me.
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and the evidence i think is persuasive. politico reported that jim comey will report. president trump says jim comey give her a free pass for bad deeds. the phony trump russia story was an excuse for democrats as justification for losing the election. perhaps trump just ran a great campaign. this hearing is scheduled to start at 10:00. we're a minute or so away. live coverage here on cspan 3.
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